Women have right to choose combat role

The United States Armed Forces bars women from military occupations and assignments which require routine participation in direct combat or carry a high risk of capture.


They say that those activities women are not allowed to partake in generally involve the infantry, armor and artillery, bombers, fighter planes and attack helicopters, combat ships and special forces operations.

So what?

A friend of mine made a worthwhile point the other day. He used the expression “modern military action” which didn’t make sense to me at first. But, as I thought about it more, it became clearer.

When you look at the weapons used today, compared to those in the past, there is a striking difference. Talking to some veterans I know, both recently and not so recently, I’ve heard that with today’s advanced technology, it’s not how many pounds you can carry on your back or how fast you can run, but how quick your reflexes are.

They say mental concentration takes precedence over everything else, a virtue many women possess. They say if you’ve got a good head on your shoulders you’re less likely to go crazy and more capable of surviving in combat. Again, another strength I see in many women.

Let’s face it. It is a biological fact that men are physically stronger than women. Chances are that a 280-pound man is stronger than a 135-pound woman, but that is not always the case. Nowadays I think all that matters is who has the faster draw.

In fact, a fully-loaded M-16 assault rifle used extensively in the Persian Gulf War weighs just under 9 pounds. Obviously, the weight of the rifle is not a problem, but just how fast you are able to fire it may decide whether you live or die. Where does gender fit in?

My friend brought up another point that I feel is valid since many people seem to feel the same way. He said people don’t want to see women in heavy combat areas because if they are captured, they will more than likely be sexually assaulted.

“If” is the key word here. That type of argument seems to be defeating the whole purpose. Soldiers are not trained to be caught. They are taught how to survive.

I would imagine that being held a prisoner of war is not a pleasant experience for anyone. Male soldiers can also be sexually violated in the same way people fear women to be.

There are hundreds of Terry Andersons out there who have ugly stories to tell and if it was “Susie Anderson” telling the story it would be no less horrific.

My point is a soldier is required to go through extensive conditioning and preparation before rushing off to the front line. Shouldn’t it be if you are fit to pass the tests, you go, and if you don’t pass, you stay?

Any monkey can be trained to fire a rifle. But there’s more to war than just shooting and killing. A mental mind set proves to be just as valuable.

Currently, women only make up 11 percent of the U.S. military. Could it be because they are tired of going through the same hassles?

Let us make the choice.